Tag Archives: Itala Mela

Itala Mela beatified

On Saturday, June 10th, Itala Mela (1904-57) was beatified in La Spezia, Italy, her home town. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, offered Mass and declared Mela a Blessed of the Church in the presence of 3000 people.

The liturgical memorial of Blessed Itala Mela will be April 28, the day prior to her anniversary of death so not to conflict the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, one of the patron saints of Italy.

In previous posts on Mela, I noted she was an Italian laywoman who eventually found her vocation not as a Benedictine nun but as a Benedictine Oblate.

Itala Mela was a well-known mystic of the Church, her popularity certainly grew following her death. She was the author of several theological writings that focused on the Blessed Trinity.

In his June 11th, Trinity Sunday Angelus Address, Pope Francis said that Blessed Itala Mela was not raised in the Catholic Faith, and in fact she identified herself as an atheist following her brother Enrico’s death at the age of nine in 1920. The tragic loss sent her in a tail-spin.

She later converted to Christ, however, following an intense spiritual experience on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (1922) at the age of 18. This sudden reawakening of her faith prompted her to say with conviction: “Lord, I shall follow You unto the darkness, unto death.” Her mission was to assist Catholic university students in developing their God-given, human desires through an emphasis on the spiritual life.

Mela’s own spiritual path was not straight but she eventually recognized that consecrated life was not her vocation; then she became a Benedictine Oblate in 1933 of the Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls in Rome and undertook a mystical journey focused on the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity taking the name Maria of the Blessed Trinity. Among her guides were Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, OSB (1880-1954), a Benedictine monk (of St Paul’s in Rome) who later became the Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan and Blessed Paul VI, also of Milan and later the Roman Pontiff.

Typically, Oblates promise the three Benedictine vows of Conversatio, Obedience and Stability, yet she also made a fourth vow of consecration to the Holy Trinity which she considered as her mission in the Church and world.

It was very fitting that Mela was beatified on the solemnity of the Holy Trinity. The Pope also said that “The testimony of the new Blessed encourages us, during our journeys, to often direct the thoughts to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who dwells in the cell of our heart.”

Blessed Itala Mela now becomes a sign of holiness not only for the entire Church, but in particular for the laity. In fact, Cardinal Amato said in his homily, “Society needs secular holiness, education, economics, family, politics. The world needs lay saints.”

Blessed Itala, pray for us.

Itala Mela named Blessed by Pope

Itala MelaWe have a new Benedictine oblate Blessed!
Today, Pope Francis and the Congregation of Saints approved of the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Itala Mela.
The new Blessed was a Benedictine Oblate of the Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls (Rome). She was in La Spezia (Italy) on 28 August 1904 and died on 29 April 1957.
Itala also went by the name of Sister Maria of the Trinity.
Mela’s particular mission was to make the Holy Trinity known and loved. Dom Aldo Piccinelli, OSB, wrote a book on Mela’s teaching, The Spiritual Experience of Itala Mela: A life incandescently immersed in the Trinity (2015).
Thanks be to God for the gift of new Blessed from among the Benedictine Oblates!

Itala Mela: Benedictine Oblate sainthood cause advances

Itala MelaToday, in Rome, the Congregation for Saints proposed to the Holy Father that after study and prayer, the Servant of God Itala Mela, laywoman and Benedictine Oblate of the Abbey of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls (Rome), did indeed, live a life of heroic virtue. Now her cause will study possible miracles attributed to her intercession before the Throne of Grace.

Itala Mela is known as the Mystic of the Holy Trinity. Mela was born to Pasquino and Luigia Bianchini on 24 August 1904 and died 29 April 1957.

Mela was well acquainted with the likes of Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, Blessed Idelfonse Cardinal Schuster, OSB, and Fathers Agostino Gemelli and Divo Barsotti. Schuster was the abbot of St Paul’s before his nomination as the archbishop of Milan.

On 4 January 1933, Itala Mela professed the promises of a Benedictine Oblate of Saint Paul Outside the Walls and on 9 June she made a fourth vow of consecration to the Holy Trinity which she considered as the center of her life and mission in the Church. How providential that this recognition of Mela happens on the weekend in 2014 that we liturgically recall the dogma of the Holy Trinity!

Itala Mela’s cause for sainthood was opened on 21 November 1976 and it has taken until now to advance –in God’s time– as she referred to as the Venerable Servant of God Itala Mela.

Much of Mela’s life is known in Italian, but you may want to look at this website nonetheless.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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